Rhun ap Iorwerth’s Column for the Holyhead and Anglesey Mail 21.12.16

Since being elected as Ynys Môn AM, I’ve found that the run-up to Christmas is a very busy period for an elected representative. It’s also a very rewarding time, where visits to care homes and various providers of public services reminds me of the sheer dedication of those who’ve committed their lives to helping others.

This year has been no different, and it’s been a pleasure talking with so many people through a host of tinsel-clad engagements across the island.

It is also a time to remember those for whom Christmas is a difficult time. May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to our ‘reverse advent calendar’, bringing packages of food into the Plaid Cymru office in Llangefni. It’ll be shared out by food bank volunteers to those who need a little extra help this Christmas.

In the Assembly last week I spoke in a debate calling for an end to evictions of families with children from social housing. Can you imagine being a child evicted just before Christmas?

I also made a short statement raising awareness of scams. More and more people are becoming victims of criminal scams, and the elderly and vulnerable are often most at risk. It makes my blood boil. I don’t want anyone’s Christmas to be ruined in this way.

Other pre-Christmas events included a meeting with senior NatWest managers. I feel for the staff being told just before Christmas that their branches are being closed, in Amlwch, Menai Bridge and Holyhead. I’m told there shouldn’t be compulsory redundancies, but customers are most definitely facing compulsory inconvenience. Something must be done – at this rate we’ll be losing our banks altogether!

No Christmas is complete without a visit to a Royal Mail sorting office, and this year the staff in Llangefni were busy as always ensuring your cards and gifts were delivered on time.

Along with the Christmas cards, I also sent in my submission to National Grid’s consultation on its plans to erect a new row of pylons across the island. I’d like to thank everyone who’ve added their voices to the chorus of objections by responding to Grid’s consultation by last week’s closing date.

Finally, let me wish you and all your loved ones a happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year. Nadolig llawen a blwyddyn newydd dda i chi i gyd.